Cruise ships to nestle among battleships
- Staff Writer
- Thursday, 1 September 2011
The Naval fleet on Garden Island may find themselves sharing space with cruise liners, as the search for a new docking site continues.
Defense Minister Stephen Smith and Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP have both recommended Garden Island to be upgraded into an overseas passenger terminal.
Community groups around the Potts Point area have expressed outrage at the lack of consultation.
“We have been shut out,” said Andrew Woodhouse, President of the Potts Point & Kings Cross Heritage Conservation Society.
“Clover Moore took the proposal to council via a backdoor method; we were never allowed to comment.”
The Kings Cross and Potts Point areas are the most densely populated in the country, and there are doubts whether the infrastructure could handle sudden swells of people.
“You would need customs halls, carparks, and busparks…’’ said Mr. Woodhouse.
“We already have a traffic problem. There is just no room.”
But Ms Moore said the proposal would open up more space to the public.
“The occupation by the Navy and associated uses has kept our foreshores closed for too long,’’ she said.
“Opening public spaces on the Garden Island foreshore would provide significant benefit to local residents and the wider Sydney community.”
Passengers from cruise ships In Sydney spend an average of $300 a day per person, which contributes over $3 billion to the national economy.
Ms Moore has recommended the installation of ferry service to Circular Quay to tackle the congestions problems, and provide ‘a direct and more scenic entry to the city.’
A report to the State Government by the Passenger Cruise Transport Steering Committee (PTSCS) showed Sydney Harbour would not be able to cope with double the numbers of cruise ships expected in 2015.
“The cruise industry is booming,” said a spokesperson from P&O cruises.
“Sydney is the hub for cruise operations in Australia.”
Another difficulty facing Sydney Harbour and Garden Island is the size of the incoming cruise ships.
A new terminal is needed on the east side of the Harbour Bridge, as many cruisers are now too large to fit underneath.
By 2030, almost nine out of ten cruise ships will need to berth on the eastern side.
In February, The Queen Mary 2 and The Queen Elizabeth docked at Garden Island and Circular Quay, because they were too large to pass under the bridge.
By Timothy Clarke
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